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  • Author or Editor: R.A. Straw x
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Tomato trials with black plastic mulch, drip irrigation, and fertigation were conducted on a Lily sandy loam soil of medium fertility at Crossville, TN in 1990 and 1991. 'Mountain Pride' tomatoes were fertilized with a broadcast preplant application of 1120 kg ha–1 of 10-4.4-8.3 fertilizer with and without combinations of black plastic mulch and weekly applications of 0.64 cm of water for 12 weeks through drip irrigation. Three black plastic mulch and drip irrigation treatments supplied additional nitrogen and potassium fertilizer through the drip irrigation system. Yields were increased by use of black plastic mulch and by trickle irrigation in 1991. However, additions of fertilizer through drip irrigation had no effect on yields.

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`Merit' and `Silver Queen' sweet corn plants were treated with nicosulfuron and primisulfuron herbicides at rates of 0.035 and 0.039 kg ai ha-1, respectively. These herbicides were applied either over the top postemergence or directed post emergence. Over the top postemergence applications killed all of the `Merit' plants, but did not injure `Silver Queen' plants. All treatments provided greater than 90 % control of johnson grass and fall panicum.

In a separate experiment, `Silver Queen', `Incredible', `How Sweet It Is', `Pinnacle', `Sweetie 76', and `Landmark' showed slight injury, while `Silverado' showed moderate injury 2 weeks after application of a postemergence treatment of either nicosulfuron or primisulfuron. However, the plants soon outgrew this injury and yields were not reduced due to herbicide treatments.

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`Blue Ridge' snap beans were planted with no fertilizer or banded rates of 560 kg ha-1 of a 10-4.4-8.3 fertilizer on soils with medium fertility in 1990 and 1991. Foliar applications of water soluble fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were made at early bloom and in split applications at early bloom and repeated 10 days later. No response to fertilizer banded at planting or to foliar nutrient applications was found in snap bean yields or pod quality. Most fertilizer applications at planting increased plant size and lodging in 1990, but not in 1991. With the use of a rotation schedule and winter cover crops, snap beans showed no response to fertilization on soils of medium fertility.

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Nine size controlling apple rootstock were evaluated in trials initiated at the Plateau Experiment Station, Crossville, TN in 1981 using `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' as the scion cultivar. Tree survival was poor with M.9 EMLA, Ottawa 3, M.27 EMLA, and Mark rootstock. Trees on M.27 EMLA and Mark were extremely low in vigor and yields. Root suckering was severe with MAC 24 and M.7 EMLA. Trees on M.26 EMLA were the most productive over six fruiting years. Fruit from trees on Ottawa 3 tended to be firmer and have more red color than fruit from trees on the other rootstock when harvested on the same date. Fruit size did not vary due to rootstock over the six fruiting years.

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Several pod characteristics were evaluated to select methods for determining optimum maturity for mechanical harvest of flat podded `Roma II' beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). The test was conducted over a 3-year period (1993-1995) at Crossville, Tenn. A total length of 3.6 to 4.4 inches (90 to 112 mm) for the center seed from each of 10 of the more mature pods was a rather reliable and rapid field guide for determining optimum maturity for mechanical harvest of `Roma II' bush beans.

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Eleven filet snap bean cultivars (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were evaluated near Crossville, Tenn., in 1995 and 1996. `Minuette' and `Pluto' were among the most productive cultivars in 1995, while `Carlo', `Masai', and `Minuette' were among the most productive cultivars in 1996. In 1995, `Maxibel' produced the greatest percentage of pods No. 3 or larger in sieve size while in 1996, `Carlo', `Dandy', `Maxibel', and `Teseo' were among cultivars that produced the highest percentage of pods No. 3 or larger sieve size. `Flevoro', `Nickel', and `Pluto' pods were firmer than pods of all cultivars except `Axel', `Masai', and `Maxibel' in 1995. In 1996, pods of `Flevoro' were firmer than pods of all cultivars except `Carlo', `Maxibel' and `Nickel'. Pods of `Minuette', and `Rapier' were darker in color than pods of all cultivars except `Axel' and `Teseo'. `Maxibel' produced the longest pods, while `Axel' produced shorter pods than all cultivars except `Masai' and `Rapier'. `Masai' in 1995, and `Masai' and `Nickel' in 1996 produced the smoothest pods. `Dandy' and `Maxibel' pods had the most curvature in 1995, while in 1996, `Maxibel' had more pod curvature than all cultivars except `Carlo', `andy', `Nickel', and `Teseo'.

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Abstract

Conventional tillage (CT), no-tillage (NT), and rotary strip-tillage (RT) methods were combined with row spacings of 0.46 m (28 plants/m2) and 0.92 m (56 plants/m2) in 1985 and 1986 snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) tests with a split-plot factorial arrangement of treatments. Yields were lowest with NT and 0.92-m row spacings both years, while plant stands were lowest with NT and RT. Plant lodging was lowest with NT and highest with CT each year. Pod clustering and broken pods following machine harvest were lowest with NT both years, while rotten pods and percentage no. 2 to 4 sieve-size pods were lowest with NT in 1986. Incidence of broken pods was higher with the 0.46-m row spacing than with the 0.92-m row spacing in 1985 and the incidence of rotten pods was greatest with the 0.46-m row spacing in 1986. The 0.46-m row spacing improved yields over the 0.92-m spacing, with minimal difference in pod quality. Weed control was less effective with NT than with CT and RT methods.

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No-till (NT) culture has worked well with many agronomic crops; however, NT culture has been less successful with vegetable crops. `Mountain Pride' tomatoes were grown under (NT) and conventional-till (CT) culture at the Plateau Experiment Station. During the first two years of the study, both NT and CT plots were tilled in the fall and sowed in a winter wheat cover crop. In the third year of the study, a continuous NT culture was maintained. Tomato yields were identical from the two tillage practices in the first year. In the second year, yields were significantly higher from NT tomatoes than CT tomatoes. The trend reversed in the third year with CT producing significantly more yield than NT culture. In addition, NT tomato plants were stunted and roots were observed to grow laterally near the soil surface. Production of NT tomatoes following a winter wheat cover crop appears feasible; however, continuous NT was not promising.

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Six processing type sweet corn cultivars were evaluated for productivity and production problems at eight planting dates at the Plateau Experiment Station at Crossville, TN. Plant size and yields declined rapidly after the fourth planting date. During this period soil moisture was adequate and temperatures were relatively cool, therefore, plant growth responses may have been attributed to day length or light interception. Insect populations and insect damage increased as the harvest season progressed. `Reveille' had poor ear fill throughout the season, while percentage ear fill of all of the other cultivars, with the exception of `More', decreased rapidly after the fourth planting date. `More' plants were the most vigorous throughout the trial. `More' was one of the most productive cultivars throughout the season and especially at the later planting dates.

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A trial evaluating the use of municipal biosolids application in 1996 resulted in stunted transplants, delayed fruit set, season-long reduction in plant vigor, and reduced yield of `Mt. Pride' tomatoes. Hypotheses for these effects include nitrogen (N) immobilization, increased salinity, and acetic acid phytotoxicity. Subsequently, a trial was initiated in 1997 at The Univ. of Tennessee Plateau Experiment Station near Crossville to evaluate the effect of timing of biosolid application on `Mt. Fresh' tomato plant growth and fruit yield. Treatments included an inorganic control consisting of 134, 67, and 67 kg·ha-1 N, P2O5, and K2O, respectively and a municipal biosolid at a rate of 168 kg·ha-1 N applied at transplanting, 2 months prior to transplanting, or 3 months prior to transplanting. The rationale for these treatments is that time would allow for mineralization of N and leaching of salts and/or acetic acid. Stunting of transplants was observed in all treatments receiving applications of municipal biosolids, with the degree of stunting increasing as length of delay decreased. Marketable and total yields were not influenced by treatment. Municipal biosolids applied at transplanting resulted in the greatest fruiting delays and increased the amount of blossom end rot observed. Plants receiving inorganic fertilization produced the highest percentage of cracked and rotten fruit. Recommendations for municipal biosolid use include applying a rate based on N in the fall prior to production or applying a rate based on phosphorus with supplemental inorganic N in the spring.

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